Posted by: atarimonos | December 25, 2008

Christmas Abroad

Christmas abroad: no snow, no family, and ubiquitous Santas. 

The Christmas holiday meshes well with Taiwan’s eye for “cute” consumerism. Wherever you walk, be it in Taoyuan or Taipei, Santa precedes you ’round every bend in the road, or corner store. Christmas trees grace stores and shops. In fact, tonight I witnessed Christmas Carolers singing Silent Night, in Chinese. I am a long way for home, and this holiday season made sure to remind me. It was Christmas … and not. You find all the trappings of Christmas: St. Nick, presents, tinsel, pine trees, etc. and all of these things are made Chinese through use of Characters, poor Chinese translations, and complete lack of depth to these visible cues. The biggest difference between a Taiwanese Christmas and a Christmas at home is this: Christmas at home possesses a depth of meaning, in Taiwan that meaning is lost. Now, if you ask me to define this “meaning” I fear I would be at a loss for words. All I know, all I feel, is that there is something in Christmas that cannot be found in Taiwan. Any insights?

In other news, News Years break is coming and Chinese New Years break is soon to follow … I am excited, to say the very least. It’ll be good to be away from kids, students, and co-teachers for a bit. Perhaps a trip down South? Other than that, the temperature falls below 60 and I find myself cold, at times. I also miss snow. I never thought I’d say that. I’ll close with this: to all a good holiday, safe travels, and give your family a hug, mothers get the first hug. Cheers.


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